Kuwait: While some players might shine through any environment, the role of a football coach is essential and extremely important for a team at any level of the game.
For many teams/clubs participating in the ongoing Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) League, the coach serves as an advisor, mentor, lifeline, or simply as a person lending an ear to listen.
Soccer Kerala coach Biju Johny, a degree holder in Physical Education, champion footballer of yesteryears from Calicut District, and former Fitness Trainer & Assistant Coach of professional Indian football club Viva Kerala, surely stands a tad above the rest in this field. For Biju, the game is more than just wins and losses.
Biju’s main focus has been observed to be on Team Pride, Discipline, Community Relationship, and Passion for the game. He is a role model for every one around and provides practical recommendations for other clubs on how to achieve these extremes.
Under Biju’s command, Soccer Kerala dominated and demolished last-years’ league Runners-up 5-0, unsympathetic but a disciplined rout. Striker Shafeek scored a classic hat-trick while Sahil and Jineesh scored the other goals. Shafeeq was awarded man of the match for his excellent performance. Mario Carneiro presented the award.
Jafar, Sajesh, Manu Jose, Majeed, Prince, Aivey, Sebastian, Hanson, Jineesh, etc, were amazing for Soccer Kerala all throughout the match.
Rising were a depleted lot after dependable defender Darwin D’Cruz pulled out midway into the first half with a leg injury.
While young Shahanas Sulaiman was the pick of the players and a silver lining in a disheartened Rising Stars side, another budding footballer Cheslee D’Souza, who was surprisingly left out from the starting eleven, showed energy and will power after he came on as a substitute. Equally, it was the goal keeping of evergreen Olavo Monteiro, playing in his 22nd season in Kuwait, that denied more goals to the dominant Keralites.
Soccer Kerala controlled large parts of the clash and could have won by a greater margin had Olavo Monteiro not been in fine form for Rising.
SKYNET-MIRACLES CRUISE AHEAD
Skynet-Miracles cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory winning their third match in a row.
Santos United showed improvement and grit throughout the match but Skynet proved too strong for them, prevailing in the end. Vicky Cardozo and Rafeeq scored for Skynet.
J Fidelis, Mashank, Mubeshwar, Nilesh, Vicky Cardozo, Rafeeq, Titus, Cristo Colaco, etc, excelled for Skynet-Miracles.
Rafeeq M won the man of the match for his excellent performance. The prized was handed over by Bernard Fernandes.
BERNARD PIRES DAZZLES FOR CURTORCARES
Former Navelim player Bernard Pires dazzled in midfield with superb ball-control, body-shielding and precision passing to inspire Curtorcares United to a solitary goal victory over Navelim YC.
Bernard was deservedly voted man of the match, the second consecutive award that he won in 3 games. The spian of Konkani Stage Cajetan de Sanvordem presented the award.
Rated one of the fastest teams this season, Curtorcares were well bottled-up by Navelim, till they scored in the second half. A poor punch from goalkeeper Ramson landed at the feet of Martin Gomes, who controlled well before firing the ball into the top corner.
Navelim struggled to create many chances and when they did their finishing lacked quality, with Deigo Dias guilty of wasting their best chance late into the match.
Marcos Costa, Custodio, Shavad, Savio, Bonny Niasso, Vincy Carvalho, Cleto Gomes, Joao Moraes, Samson D’Costa played well for Curtorcares while Christo Colaco, Alfred Pires, Maurice Simoes, Sandy, Duarte, Adrian, Mathew and Pedro gave their best for Navelim.
Referee Robert Bernard flashed yellow cards to Curtorcares’ Cleto and Custodio; Navelim got the ‘honors’ for Christo and Deigo.
MATCH OF THE DAY
In a high intensity match, arguably the best of the day, that demonstrated a high standard of the KIFF league, AVC beat Kerala Challengers 1-0.
It was a treat to watch this match with tries at either ends all throughout the match.
AVC missing some of their key players through injury were not in much rhythm but centre-back Francis Vazmoved upfront and scored the all-important goal with a blistering shot towards the fag end of the match.
For AVC, Melvy Fernandes, Franky Vaz and Joseph Quadros were excellent in defence, they gave nothing away while Luciano D’Souza, Braulio Rodrigues, Selwin Fernandes, Leslie Alemao, Prisco Mascarenhas, Sebyton Colaco, Roland Fernandes, Michael Pereira, and substitute Vincy Pereira played an incredible game.
Muneer and Ben of Kerala Challengers were booked by referee Bernard Fernandes for rough play.
Victory gives AVC a vital cushion heading into their next match and leaves Kerala Challengers needing a significant turn around if they are to make it to the knockout stage of the league.
AVC’s Francis Vaz bagged the man of the match award from the hands of Shyam Kumar.
KIFF LEAGUE 2015~16
KIFF matches are officiated by KIFF-referees.
The matches for the day were officiated by Rosario Colaco, Bernard Fernandes, Robert Bernard, Gasper Crasto assisted by Agnelo, Sameer, etc.
Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) League, perhaps the only overseas Indian league, consists of 16 teams divided into 2 groups playing in a round-robin league. Top 4 teams from each group will qualify for the knockout phase of the league.
The participating clubs for the season are Goan Overseas Association, United Goans Centre, YRC Rising Stars, Navelim Youth Centre, Curtorcares United, Kuwait Goans Association-Nagoa Verna, FC Sparx, Indian Strikers FC, DHL Football Club, AVC Overseas Sports and Cultural Association, Skynet-Miracles SC, Santos United, Don Bosco Oratory, Malabar United FC, Soccer Kerala and Kerala Challengers.
KIFF League Fixtures for20th November 2015:
6.45am: United Goans v/s GOA Maroons
8.00am: KGA-Nagoa v/s DHL
9.00am: Don Bosco Oratory v/s Indian Strikers
10.00am: FC Sparx v/s Malabar United